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Jake Moody must re-earn his place in the kicking rotation

A hot start to 2019 quickly faded away as the kicker eventually found himself benched.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 26 Notre Dame at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There are many uncertainties surrounding college football right now. The 2020 season is still in jeopardy, and even if a season does occur it will do so likely in empty stadiums with a conference-only schedule. Still, it is never too early to take a look at the Michigan depth chart and the players slated to contribute whenever football does resume. Join us as we comb through the roster and answer key questions heading into this fall.

Jake Moody, true JR

247 Composite Ranking: n/a
2019 Stats: 18-of-18 XP, 6-of-9 FG

College football rosters are huge, which means coaches have the luxury of collecting depth at virtually every position, and this is definitely the case on special teams. While NFL teams are typically limited to one kicker and one punter, colleges will have multiple players at each spot, and this number can really grow when considering walk-ons as well.

Jake Moody is now a scholarship player, and he entered 2019 as one of the starting options at place kicker. Michigan decided to rotate between Moody and Quinn Nordin after the two both saw time at the role in 2018, and Moody seemed to benefit from the alternating approach. However, as the year moved on, things quickly went downhill for the sophomore.

Will Moody be able to fight for a legitimate role in the kicking game?

The first six games of last season went great for Moody, as he went 5-for-6 when called upon for a field goal try. Jim Harbaugh was very dedicated to his rotation methodology, and it did not seem to faze Moody at all, as he looked consistent and much more reliable than Nordin, who started the year 0-for-3. For whatever reason, though, this positive streak would abruptly end.

Moody’s season was effectively over when he missed a 37-yarder in the first half against Maryland. This made him 1-for-3 over the past three games, and when Nordin made his try later in the game and then made his next attempt against Michigan State, Harbaugh decided to ride with him the rest of the way. The remainder of the year saw Moody continue to man the kickoff duties, but he would not get another shot at a field goal.

The competition looks to be fluid heading into 2020, but it would be a surprise if Nordin did not carry the job into the first game. He comes from the higher pedigree and made each of his final 10 attempts last season, so Moody may be limited to kickoffs, at least to start the year. But if Nordin does happen to slip up, which has certainly happened before, the door will be opened for Moody to step into the role again. Either way, the job should be all his in 2021.